New Brussels LEZ could lead to foreigners facing steep fines

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A new environmental low emission zone (LEZ) has come into force in Brussels, Belgium, on 1 Jan 2018, which could lead to drivers facing large fines for non compliance.

Drivers could face large fines for non compliance with Belgium's new LEZs

Drivers could face large fines for non compliance with Belgium’s new LEZs

The Belgian capital’s new LEZ covers the entire metropolitan area with its 19 municipalities. All European vehicle owners must first be registered in the municipal database before entering the zone.

Antwerp’s LEZ has been in place since February 2017 and requires drivers to register before entering the area. However, different zones in Belgium have different regulations, with each city/municipality carrying out vehicle registration separately.

The Belgian LEZ website states that, “For foreign vehicles it is very difficult to comply with all these regulations, as the registration is carried out separately for each city and LEZ and it cannot be transferred. However, in case of non-compliance, they would most likely face high fines.”

The LEZs are intended to reduce the number of older, more polluting vehicles, which will be excluded from traffic around cities. However, initially the new Brussels LEZ will only affect Belgian citizens, with foreigners needing to register after “summer 2018”.

Travellers to Belgium have been advised to keep themselves informed via the website: www.lez-belgium.be. The website provides information on all existing and planned Belgian low emission zones.

The website adds that, “If, after the registration in a specific LEZ a vehicle fails to comply with the corresponding EURO emission standards and for this reason is not permitted to enter the zone, it is possible to purchase an additional environmental ticket under certain conditions.

“Due to the diverse regulations and specifications for the EURO emission standards in the respective city/municipality and their LEZ, different entry restrictions for different vehicle types can be applied to the multiple LEZ zones in Belgium.”

The registration procedure for the low emission zone and all access regulations can be consulted at www.lez-belgium.be

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Jonathan Musk

Jonathan turned to motoring journalism in 2013 having founded, edited and produced Autovolt - one of the UK's leading electric car publications. He has also written and produced books on both Ferrari and Hispano-Suiza, while working as an international graphic designer for the past 15 years. As the automotive industry moves towards electrification, Jonathan brings a near-unrivalled knowledge of EVs and hybrids to Fleet World Group.